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Acting PM to pay Warner’s legal fees

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Acting PM to pay Warner’s legal fees

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PORT OF SPAIN (CMC) – High Court judge James Aboud has ordered acting Prime Minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan to pay TT$3 000 in legal fees to his former Cabinet colleague Jack Warner after he failed to appear in court on Monday.
?Rambachan is suing Warner for defamation of character.
Justice Aboud said the non-appearance of Rambachan and his attorneys, despite having knowledge that the matter was to be heard on Monday, was tantamount to a waste of the court’s time.
He ordered that Rambachan, who is acting as prime minister in the absence of Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, who is in St Vincent attending a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit, should pay the money for the 45 minutes of legal service provided by Warner’s attorneys.
Warner, who is the interim leader of the recently formed Independent Liberal Party (ILP), was present when the matter was called.
Rambachan had filed the law suit against Warner, a former minister of national security in the coalition People’s Partnership government, following remarks he made at a public meeting on July 23 last year.
Warner had filed a defence on January 23 defending the alleged defamatory statement.
His attorney said his client would be relying on justification and qualified privilege.
Earlier this year, Justice Aboud had suggested that Warner and Rambachan hold talks and seek to settle the matter out of court.
“Sometimes in the heat of the moment, people make statements that are not always true and in these instances a simple conversation or an apology could sort out the issue,” the judge said at a sitting on January 13.
The matter will resume on May 26.